MVX program to replace Border Guard aircraft moves to negotiation phase
The purpose of the MVX program is to replace the current Dornier 228 surveillance aircraft with new multirole aircraft which correspond to the existing operating environment and tasks. The program's data collection phase is now over.
Next, the program is proceeding to the invitation to tenders and negotiation phase, and the Border Guard has decided which of the suppliers will be invited to the call for tenders.
A total of 22 suppliers responded to the request for information. After careful consideration, extensive data collection, and analysis, the following nine suppliers were selected for consideration:
- Dassault Aviation
- Elbit Systems LTD
- ELTA Systems
- Field Aerospace
- General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada
- L3Harris Technologies
- PAL Aerospace Ltd.
- Sierra Nevada Corporation
- ST Airborne Systems AB
The selections were based on the respondents’ experience and demonstrated ability to implement similar complicated modifications of aircraft designed for special purposes. In addition, the technical solution models put forward in the responses to the data request were examined both with respect to operating efficiency and life-cycle costs.
“We were actually somewhat surprised at how great the interest has been. Based on the feedback that we got, the goals and focuses of the Finnish Border Guard project program are clear and the resources and timetable are realistic. No fewer than nine prime supplier candidates on the market were selected, all of whom are both willing and able to deliver a modern multirole aircraft to the Finnish Border Guard. This is a very good place from which to move forward”, says the program director, Brigadier General Jari Tolppanen.
The Border Guard will issue its next press release on the program at a press conference to be held in Helsinki in November. The selected supplier candidates will also be invited to the event. An invitation will be sent later to the media. The negotiation phase is expected to continue through late next year, after which an aircraft supplier will have been chosen.
The Finnish Border Guard has been working on the MVX program since 2019 with the aim of replacing the Border Guard's two Dornier 228 surveillance planes that are currently in use. The technical availability of the ageing equipment is declining, and downtimes are increasing.
The aim of procuring new multirole aircraft is to attain the following improvements to the performance of the current aircraft:
- significant improvements in operating times with the aim of covering more extensive areas through monitoring and securing longer periods of operating capacity in fighting environmental emergencies,
- better-performing technical monitoring sensors, and
- the utilisation of the latest technology and more developed technical systems, including real-time and encrypted telecommunications.
The design of the new planes also considers the growing need for monitoring the eastern border and the related upgrading of the monitoring of Finland's territorial integrity.
The most important tasks of the multirole aircraft are monitoring borders on land and at sea, supporting rescue efforts in maritime emergencies, identifying environmental emergencies at sea, and supporting their clean-up efforts. In addition, the planes are used for monitoring Finland's territorial integrity, and supporting environmental officials in the monitoring of the condition of the Baltic Sea.
The Finnish Government decided on 5 April 2022 in the discussion on spending limits to allocate EUR 163 million for the procurement of multirole aircraft to replace the Dornier 228 surveillance planes. The aim is to secure a procurement contract in 2023, enabling the deployment of the new capabilities in 2026.